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Apartment Hunting – Should You Rent Or Buy?

Apartment Hunting – Should You Rent Or Buy?Nearly a decade removed from the housing bubble’s burst, homeownership rates across the country are still low. Many construction companies have been building more apartment complexes than homes, which has driven down rental costs. Recently, a Freddie Mac survey revealed that 76% of renters believe renting is more affordable than owning, a figure up 10% in the past year. But, everyone’s individual situation is different, and there are important factors to consider when deciding whether to rent or buy. 



Important Questions To Consider 


  • Where Do You See Yourself Long Term? – The survey revealed that the top reason for renting was convenience and flexibility. If you don’t know where you’ll be in five to ten years, renting is the better option. Buying can prove costly. If you have to sell in a few years, the housing market can be drastically different than it is today. Unless you’re certain you are going to settle down, renting may be the better option. 
  • What’s the Status of your Financial Situation? – Before apartment hunting, you should have a strong understanding of your financial situation. Compare the monthly costs of renting versus buying. Remember that if buying, there are many additional costs to consider. You’ll need to budget for a down payment and repairs, which you are responsible for when owning a home. If you are renting, the property manager takes care of repairs. What about home ownership dues? Vice versa, do you have the money for a security deposit when renting? Finances can be the single most important factor when deciding whether to rent or buy. 
  • Consider Various Factors in Your Life – Where are you professionally? Are you happy in your current role? Is your industry growing? Will you be attending school again soon? What about your spouse or significant other? Will they be relocating anytime soon? If so, are you comfortable doing long distance? Knowing the answers to these questions can help simplify the apartment hunting process.  


Talk To Others In Your Area 


If you’re apartment hunting and unsure about renting or buying in your area, you should talk with other members of the community and get an idea of what’s popular in your area. When talking to renters, ask them about their management company. Once you have a better idea of the various management companies in the area, conduct research to get a better idea of which companies are reliable and trustworthy. If you determine that renting is a better option than buying, as many in Michigan do, you can perform a location search to find the best unit for your family’s needs.